By Darby N. DuComb
The issues triggered by the need to dredge the Lake Union bottom under floating homes to avoid damage to utilities and the homes during a drawdown of the lake are many. The requirements of any project will be driven by the particular location, site and soil conditions, shoreline and critical area development standards, the size and scope of the project, and soil disposal needs. Agencies with jurisdiction may include the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections, State Departments of Ecology and Natural Resources, United States Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection, and Native American Tribes.
There is some allowance for performing maintenance work without a City of Seattle permit, but that work must still comply with all applicable city, state, and federal development standards and regulations. SMC 22.170.060. This may include limitations on the time of year such work can occur.
Without knowing all the details about the particular location, site and soil conditions, shoreline and critical area development standards, the size and scope of the project, and soil disposal needs, the most standard situation will likely involve a City of Seattle grading permit and shoreline exemption decision. But this may also need to be coupled with a Joint Aquatic Resources Application (JARPA) and State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) review. You are encouraged to consult a civil engineering firm to assist you with this process.
Please find the following links to documents that will help you get started on your project, but remember these are instructions and explanations and not the actual code requirements themselves. As always, you can contact the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections for further assistance.
How to create a green shoreline environment:
How to apply for a grading permit:
When State Environmental Police Act review is required:
How to apply for a Shoreline Exemption:
How to make a Joint Aquatic Resources Permit Application:
Contact SDCI for assistance:
Telephone: (206) 684-8850
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